RESPECT YOUR GRIEVING PERIOD

Forgiveness, like many other things, comes with time. Don’t jump the gun and start doling out forgiveness like it’s a party favor. Allot a reasonable amount of time to mourn the loss of your relationship and the breach of your love, so that when you are truly ready to accept the offending party’s apology, you can do it with an honest heart. This HowToDoThings.com article says it is important to give yourself time to grieve because “denying how you feel and pretending to be alright when you aren’t only means you’re lying to yourself.”


LET GO OF PAST HURTS

When you are finally at a point when you are ready to forgive, no strings attached, stop holding on to all that pent-up pain. Release it, as you would a bird from a cage, and you will find yourself feeling liberated, fulfilled, and most importantly, whole again.  Forget about dredging up old sins or keeping deep, dark secrets tucked away to make future jabs at your ex—on the contrary, forgiveness means letting go of everything negative that happened in the past, no matter how difficult they were to get through, and then moving on with no hard feelings.


CHERISH THE GOOD TIMES

It wasn’t all bad, was it? One of the best ways to get your forgiving juices running is by remembering the good times you shared with your ex—regardless of how short it lasted. This ThirdAge.com article calls it “honoring” your true connection—this way, you can see how at one point in time your ex was the most wonderful person in your life, and this alone makes him worthy of your forgiveness. There will always be a part of you in one another—so don’t forget it, or regret it. Just forgive!


BUILD YOUR SELF-ESTEEM

To ensure that you are whole within yourself, and therefore ready to forgive, work on who you are, both alone and with others. Socialize and see how great you can be, even as a single. Take classes to keep yourself busy as well as learn about your dormant interests and ambitions. Pursue your passions—no one’s stopping you now! When you are able to build yourself back up after a devastating relational blow and finally accept who you’ve become after the breakup, you’ll be able to accept who your ex is—and the apology he offers.


START FRESH

This eHow.com article puts it quite inspiringly: “Think of the new adventure you’re embarking on. Think of all the things you now have time for and all the things you will do and learn and see. Think of how many options you now have and all the different paths you can now go down on.” Do that, and then think of your forgiveness as the portal that separates you between the old life and the new. The only thing that remains to be done before you cross over to greener pastures is to forgive—so don’t keep yourself waiting. As Nina Simone once sang, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life.” Embrace it!


(Photos courtesy of PEP.ph)
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